Exclusive: Tom Williamson Talks ‘Running Wild’

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Exclusive: Tom Williamson Talks ‘Running Wild’
Posted by Wilson Morales

February 8, 2017

Hitting theaters and VOD on February 10 from SP Releasing and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is ‘Running Wild,’ which was directed by Alex Ranarivelo and stars Sharon Stone (Casino, Basic Instinct), Tommy Flanagan (FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” Gladiator), Jason Lewis (NBC’s “Midnight, Texas,” HBO’s “Sex and the City”), Dorian Brown Pham (FX’s “Wilfred,” Home Run), and Tom Williamson (Freeform’s “The Fosters,” All Cheerleaders Die).

Written by Christina Moore & Brian Rudnick, Running Wild tells the story of a young widow trying to save her ranch following her husband’s fatal car crash. She creates a convict rehabilitation program, working with a herd of wild horses that have wandered onto her property. She did not anticipate the greed, bureaucracy and vanity that she must overcome to heal the convicts, the horses and ultimately herself.

For Williamson, who is best known for his role as AJ on the hit Freeform TV series The Fosters, ‘Running Wild’ offers him the opportunity to showcase his talent in the big screen. He had done the horror film All Cheerleaders Die prior to this. His previous TV credits have also included episodic work on Rizzoli & Isles, Criminal Minds, Switched at Birth, KC Undercover, and The Goldbergs.

Blackfilm.com recently spoke to Williamson about his role in Running Wild.

What was the attraction to doing the film?

Tom Williamson: Running Wild is a story about a woman who is about to lose her ranch because ranch is losing money and going out of business. So she took in these wild mustangs and brought in some convicts to work with the horses and rehabilitate the men. I was attracted to the film because I had never done anything with horses and with animals in general. Now, I have a deep appreciation for animals. I had heard about convicts and canines, but I had never heard about programs like this. As much as I like dogs and animals and value their relationship, I feel that sharing a story on how it impacts men and how society has given up on, and how this work can change their lives.

How would you describe your character Debrickshaw Smithson?

Tom Williamson: Debrickshaw is the youngest one in the group and is more a product of his environment. He’s not a bad kid but he had a hard time growing up. He made a handful of wrong decisions. When he should have turned left, he turned right. He chose the wrong group of friends to hang out with and things worked against him. It was inevitable that he would land where he is now. He has a big heart and is full of love, but he was growing up in such a harsh environment. He’s had to adapt to a new environment.

Most of your scenes are with Tommy Flanagan and Jason Lewis. How was working with them?

Tom Williamson: Tommy and Jason were great. I knew about Jason because of my girlfriend when he was on Sex in the City and I knew about Tommy because of Braveheart and Smokin’ Aces. Here’s a funny story. I didn’t know that they were cast in the film until the door before we shot. I’m in my hotel room and we get the call sheet and I had to be on set in about eight hours when I saw Tommy Flanagan, Sharon Stone, and Jason Lewis’ names on the list. I was like, “Oh, oh. Ok. This is what we’re doing.” It was exciting and they were really supportive and gave me a lot of great notes as well. They were a lot of fun to work with. It was the most fun to date that I’ve had on a film shoot.

How was working with Alex as your director?

Tom Williamson: Alex is great and has a really good eye. What I learned from Alex is that even when it may seems that there is chaos around, and when you’re on a film set, everything and anything goes wrong, he’s able to maintain composure and continues to steer us in the right direction. It gives you confidence.

As a young actor, how challenging has it been to get work on TV or film?

Tom Williamson: Fortunately, I have good representation and they can get me into the room. It’s about being consistent when booking positions. The competition is so stiff. There are hundreds of guys that look like me, that are better actors than me, and have been doing the work longer than me, so I have to be more humble and accept that fact that my turn will come in due time.

What’s a good reason for folks to see Running Wild?

Tom Williamson: It’s a good movie. In the face of what’s happening now in the country, the film takes places in what’s considered middle America and it shows a story of unity and diversity that is not normally seen in this environment and how this can benefit everyone involved.


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